Thursday, April 26, 2012

According to the Scriptures

"Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...." (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)  

God's Word, the Scriptures, are true. You can count on them, lean and rely on them. As Moses told the Israelites (and as God tells us whenever we read those verses), "These are not just idle words to you, they are your life!" (Deut. 32:47)

Whenever we pray Scriptures back to God (like the ones I listed in my last post), we are relying on them to be true. We are stepping out in faith and believing what we are speaking. This kind of faith pleases God. (See Hebrews 11:6) Reading, praying, memorizing Scripture feeds our soul and spirit. You won't find this food anywhere else. The world will not provide it for you. Your family and friends, as dear as they are, cannot provide what your soul and spirit needs most desperately--the forgiveness, fellowship, love and healing of your Creator, your Heavenly Father.

I've been reminded that only God knows my deepest needs because He made me, wired me, created my inmost being. Only He knows my every thought and desire. Only God knows how to heal my mind, my soul, and my spirit. As I submit to Him through Jesus Christ my Lord by daily confessing my sins and receiving His forgiveness, as I walk with Him by the leading of His Holy Spirit (which I ask for every day), I can be assured that He will meet and provide all of my needs.

Have you taken your stand today? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Have you committed yourself to believing God and following the Lord's leading each and every day? Have you committed yourself to having a daily quiet time with Him in prayer and Bible reading? To letting Him be the Potter and you be the clay so that He can mold and shape you to reflect His glory? This is our calling in Christ Jesus. He is our only hope. He is our only Way.

Otherwise, we will live each day of our lives in defeat to our sinful nature and at the mercy of an Enemy who is savage and relentless. We will live in darkness because only Jesus is the Light of the world. And if we have not accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we will not make it to heaven. God's Word is very clear. (If panic and depression are any indication of the kind of torment we will be in after death because we did not confess Jesus as Lord, it should make us run with all of our might to the One and Only for our salvation. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).)

Those seven words in bold font above, "Jesus is the Light of the world", are precious to me. Probably because I lived for a season in the darkness of depression. All light was snuffed out--there was no hope for me...or so I thought. I was deceived by my feelings and thoughts. My own mind had turned against me, and I hadn't even realized it. But Jesus came to my rescue. As a shining star illuminating the darkness of my mind, He became for me my Light.

One of the biggest joys I get out of reading the Bible is coming across words that I could've written myself. Here is just one example: "Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. " (Micah 7:8).

Our enemy cannot stand against us when we stand firm in the Lord. Resist him by praying Scripture every time you are tempted to despair or panic. God's Word is your Sword of the Spirit! Jesus is your Deliverer! God is your Rear Guard!

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

Text: Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915
Music: Phoebe P. Knapp, 1839-1908

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.


Nedrea said...

Hi Joni - I found your blog over the Christmas holiday (2011). My husband woke up one morning to find me on the couch, crying as I was reading it. I have struggled with fear and anxiety for quite some time, but at that time it had gotten incredibly overwhelming. I was looking up verses for anxiety when your blog popped up. I want you to know that God has truly used your blog to touch my life. I now have my own set of 3 x 5 index cards with scripture verses on them...they go with me everywhere! Thank you so much for sharing your life and your journey of faith in this way. Thank you for taking the time to do this...and for allowing God to use you to help others.

Joni said...

Thank you, sweet Nedrea, for taking time to let me know you are praying Scripture and believing God. It's a blessing to know I have sisters and brothers in Christ on this journey with me. I am praying that God "surrounds you with His favor as with a shield." This may not be of much comfort now, but I just wanted to share that the upside of anxiety, panic, and depression is that when we lean on Jesus, we will come out of each situation/trial truly knowing Him as our Deliverer and our Salvation! He came "to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." And He "is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

May He reveal Himself to you in some tangible way today.

Love in Christ,